Night Life [2004]

Genre: Animation, Short
Taped at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on June 28, 2003, Matchbox Twenty's Show depicts a hard-working rock band in its prime and in its element. The full spectacle of Matchbox Twenty's More Than You Think You Are tour comes across, from the band's world-class lights to its lock-tight playing, recorded and mixed for 5.1-channel surround and shot in gloriously film-like high-definition video under the direction of Hamish Hamilton (Madonna, U2, Jennifer Lopez). As on record, Matchbox Twenty's acute sensitivity to pop dynamics carries the day, showcasing drummer Paul Doucette's propulsive attacks, lead guitarist Kyle Cook's vocals and fretwork, and the soulful belting of lead singer-songwriter Rob Thomas. (The less said of Thomas's occasional piano playing, the better.) The concert itself is free from interview footage and other distractions, and the 45-minute documentary included on disc 2 is candid and focused, revealing the effort required to mount and execute an arena tour. Dolby Digital 5.1 is the best way to hear the concert, even if you collapse it to stereo, as the Dolby 2.0 tracks are marred by matrixed SRS Circle Surround 5.1 encoding. The presence of the SRS processing is confusing, given the superior Dolby-only sound and the broad household penetration of Dolby-based AV receivers. Alas, there's no DTS surround mix (as advertised in print) or CD-quality PCM stereo mix. --Michael Mikesell

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